Let me start this one out by saying that I appear to be in a sort of minority when it comes to this film. It currently stands at a whopping 97% critic and 92% audience rating on Rotten Tomatoes, and holds three Golden Globe nominations, including Best Motion Picture, Comedy/Musical. And do not get me wrong, it's totally enjoyable, I just don't find myself offering all that praise towards it. I liked it, I just didn't love it, and I feel like I've seen better this year.
With that said though, it's a nice, impressive feat for writer/director Rian Johnson, fresh off of 'Last Jedi', which clearly didn't go over very well with the horrendously toxic Star Wars audience. Good on him for making something he can take pride in. Despite me sort of going against the grain on this one, it's another case of perhaps just not personally being a member of the audience this was made for. Murder mystery movies were never really my thing, and if I'm perfectly honest, without spoiling anything, I just felt like all was revealed too quickly. It catches us off-guard, and becomes much more about cover-up than the mystery itself. We know what's up, but the characters don't. But that might also be what's so good about it - the untypical telling of a murder mystery, making it a mystery for the characters, but not for us.
Our basic plot here involves the discovery of a dead, but wealthy novelist named Harlan Thrombey (Christopher Plummer), found just after his 85th birthday party. Detective Benoit Blanc (Daniel Craig) is called to the scene to investigate and interrogate, but he's unaware of who hired him for the job (which kinda ends up being the bigger mystery for the audience than the murder). One by one, he interviews the family and house staff to find out the truth behind Harlan's death.
Among the all-star cast includes Jamie Lee Curtis, Chris Evans, Michael Shannon, Don Johnson, Toni Collette and several others. Our main character here is Harlan's personal caretaker and dear friend, Marta (Ana de Armas) an interesting piece to the puzzle due to a condition in which she tosses her cookies if she lies. That was definitely something I found hard to take seriously, but upon taking a Google, it seems like it's plausible, just not probable. We do briefly get an explanation that it has something to do with a past event, but not much more. So we roll with it, especially as she's basically a human lie detector to herself, which is an interesting idea.
I think I appreciated the idea of a different execution for a mystery film like this. This had some interesting ideas, twists and turns, and it was neat that it gave us a parallel, and much more interesting mystery to the murder itself. The characters were all pretty solid, but I don't think any of them truly stood out to me as any kind of "favourite". Really and truly, the only character I genuinely liked was Marta, and even then, that's mostly 'cause she carried the weight of this movie on her shoulders.
There's plenty to appreciate here, but despite all my praise, I'm not entirely sure I fully appreciated the mystery switch-a-roo when I noticed it. With some time to sit and think about things, I have gained an appreciation for how it all unfolded, as they did something different, and this wasn't just and old fashioned who-dunnit story. Still though, I just can't seem to cross that line to loving it. It's just not the type of thing I gravitate towards, typically. But I do still highly recommend checking it out for yourself at some point, as your opinion may very well differ for the better. It seems that way with he vast majority, already.